Crossing the Lines: ESO Quest Guide
Elder Scrolls Online was quite the anomaly when it first launched. What traditionally had been a solo open-world series was attempting to break into the highly-competitive wild west that is the MMORPG world. What would become of the intricate questlines? Would Zenimax honor Bethesda’s standards for world-building, voice acting, and visual splendor? Elder Scrolls fans and MMORPG fans alike were both nervous and excited with the announcements, and though it took a few years to find its footing, it is safe to say that Elder Scrolls Online successfully hit its mark and exceeded expectations. One of the biggest points of concern, the Quest lines, turned out to be one of its strongest draws. Today, PlayerAuctions is here to introduce you to the wonderful world of questing in our ESO Quest Guide, and you’re in for quite a treat.
The Main Questline (and much, much more)
Just like previous Elder Scrolls games, ESO has the Main Quest line. The Main Quest is divided up into sub-sections just like Main quests from previous Elder Scrolls games and is comparable in length (about 8 to 10 hours of straight playthrough for the average player, but less if you’re experienced or a power runner.) If you’ve played Elder Scrolls in the past (we expect a lot of you have) then you’ll recognize some familiar faces from the lore: the mighty Molag Bal, The Prophet, and The King of Worms to name a few. What really sets ESO apart, though, is the sheer number of side questlines are available. There are Alliance Quests, Guild Quests, Regional Quests, run-of-the-mill Side Quests, and World Events and other Miscellaneous Quests. Getting overwhelmed yet? Not to worry, we’ll break them down for you.
You may be familiar with the Alliance System if you played Skyrim, (Imperials or Stormcloacks?) or other open-world games like WoW (Horde or Alliance), but if not the concept is pretty simple to grasp. The three alliances of this world are locked in conflict, and you must choose a side: the Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, or Ebonheart Pact. The alliance you select will determine your home territories (the regions you begin your game in) as well as the side quest line you have access to. For all intents and purposes, most players consider the three alliances to be parallel experiences, so don’t fret too much about your decision. After all, you can always make another character!
This is another mainstay from previous Elder Scrolls series as well as a common theme among MMORPGs. The Dark Brotherhood, Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild and a new additional Guild called the Undaunted, all make an appearance in the online world of Tamriel. A fun new quirk of the Guild systems is that gaining experience in Guilds – which begins once you’ve started that guilds questline – also unlocks unique skills that can be quite handy for a variety of different playstyles. These skills are unique and quite powerful in some cases, so whether you think you’ll need them or not, try to start all the Guilds right away so you can start leveling up!
Another new introduction to the ESO experience is the Regional questlines. The world of Tamriel is divided into zones, and each zone has its own unique storyline going on at any given time. This gives you a vast amount of content to cover, and each functions much as its own mini-main quest. Depending on your progress in a given regions’ story quest, the environment, enemies, and world around you will look very different! This makes unexplored areas more dangerous, explored and liberated areas more friendly, familiar, and profitable, not to mention the good it does for the atmosphere of the ESO experience.
The Side quests of an area are almost as diverse and numerous as the people and places you will stumble across in your exploration. It seems around every corner, in every small settlement, inside every cave, you will find quests to be completed which aren’t related in any way to the main or other storylines. For players with a short attention span like me, this means you can quite literally embark upon a quest, and find yourself several hours later having acquired eight more quests in several different zones and having completed absolutely zero. That is not a fictional account, it’s a regular occurrence. But, this is alright with me! I have equally as much fun wandering aimlessly and interacting with the vast diversity of the Tamriel Universe as I do actually completing and turning in objectives for rewards.
Each Dungeon, both Group and Public, comes with its one questline. These are pretty straightforward events. You may only complete each quest one time, and the quests proceed almost perfectly linearly through the various areas and bosses of the dungeon. Stick with a group and you’ll have no trouble with them – most players are even kind enough to wait around for you to finish dialogue and attain your next objective. The Dungeon quests are never particularly rewarding, but they give a decent experience boost for your first run-through and occasionally some moderate to decent equipment.
While not “technically” quests, world events are a common occurrence if you spend any amount of time exploring the open-world. These can range anywhere from bandit attacks to sparring fights with orcs, and often times are attached with achievements.
Many players go their entire ESO Careers without ever even exploring the potential of its PVP areas. Though PVP had a rocky introduction, Zenimax has done well to improve and smooth out the gameplay for PVP, and I recommend everyone give it a shot if for nothing but the questlines. Your missions are generally to capture objectives, kill various types of enemy players, or scout defenses. The last two can be completed solo, but many players find success in completing these in “swarms” – a group of players who run rabid around the map and complete as many objectives as possible in as little time as possible. Because the community is so inclusive, often times I’ve found groups who have gone out of their way to help me reach certain objectives. It takes some getting used to, but this can be a fantastic way to gain experience quickly, on top of which you’ll meet a ton of great people along the way.